The Boeing Company reached an agreement with the US Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday that requires it to pay at least $17 million in penalties, after the Chicago-based manufacturer installed equipment with unapproved sensors in hundreds of 737 Max and NG aircraft.
“Keeping the flying public safe is our primary responsibility,” said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson. “That is not negotiable, and the FAA will hold Boeing and the aviation industry accountable to keep our skies safe.”
The settlement comes as the FAA seeks to step up its scrutiny of airline production and safety. In February, the Department of Transportation’s inspector general’s office said the FAAand issued a 55-page report detailing how the agency had misunderstood the 737 Max’s MCAS flight control system. Though not related to today’s settlement, that system was ultimately that, combined, killed 346 people.
In addition to the penalties, Boeing has agreed to take a number of corrective actions, including measures meant to ensure future compliance with FAA regulations and to reduce the chance that Boeing again submits aircraft with nonconforming parts for airworthiness certification. If Boeing fails to comply within 30 days, the FAA will direct the company to pay up to $10.1 million in additional penalties.
“We take our responsibility to meet all regulatory requirements very seriously,” a Boeing spokesperson told CNET. “These penalties stem from issues that were raised in 2019 and which we fully resolved in our production system and supply chain. We continue to devote time and resources to improving safety and quality performance across our operations. This includes ensuring that our teammates understand all requirements and comply with them in every way.”